Ah Susan you are the master of description. You are SO talented with description you could write a story of 2000 words only describing a scene, a character's feelings, looks, smells, tastes. There are only two authors on this site whose descriptions simply blow my mind away, and you are one of them. When I read stories like this on your account, I feel like I'm reading Russian literature; difficult but endearing, with layers upon layers to the story, scenes and happenings naked to the eye. Because it's plain that you've put a lot of thought behind the plot of this story and only showed us a small part. What's unfolding behind the scenes is like the part of the iceberg under the water.
This piece is worthy of Dumbledore beyond a doubt. There is something about his musings that's so full of sadness and regret, it makes my heart heavy with sorrow for him. I never really realised it before but he was as much of a tormented soul as Snape has been, living in the shadow of his mistakes, his young, foolish dreams. His mistakes cost him Ariana's life and a weight like that is enough to crumble even the strongest. I think you were very skilled in capturing his portrayal as he was sitting in front of her grave, snow falling all around him. Snow is a literature motif that reminds me of death, hopelessness, stillness. I know it's a sombre perspective, but despite my great love for winter, used like this creates an atmosphere of heaviness, of suffocation. It makes me want to reach out to Dumbledore and offer him something of consolation, but in cases like his, nothing said can ease one's self reproaches.
Simply brilliant my dear Susan. I always take so much pleasure from reading your stories and this one was no exception :D
Author's Response: Thank you very much, Debra! It's fantastic to hear from you, and even better to hear that you enjoyed this story. Eek! I can't get over your compliments. It means a lot that you like the descriptions in this story - you've tempted me to write more descriptions again and to post a challenge about description-writing. :D I used to do more, but I always worry that descriptions take away too much from the action. It doesn't take long for descriptions to add up to something worthy of a nineteenth-century novel, and sadly it's not a style that people seem to enjoy anymore.
But OMG you just compared the descriptions to Russian literature and now I REALLY don't know what to say. I love how you've described this story as a series of layers and an iceberg. It's far more than I expected from this story (while writing, the word count was foremost in my mind, so I don't know how much I actually thought about the pieces of the story). So much of it occurs in Dumbledore's mind and memory, revealing his selfishness and what it's lead him to, circling inward until he can finally put his guilt into words (not even his own words, which is an added layer).
Ugh, your reading of the snow is perfect. I thought of it as a blanket that covers Dumbledore's guilt, but it also represents the suffocation he felt while having to care for his siblings, and now for the stillness and heaviness of the empty house. There's so many things it stands for, making it a fantastic symbol to use, especially for a story that takes in many of these meanings.
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! I wish I could provide a better response, but I'm still too much in awe of your review. ^_^